Just in case you forgot, here is Spokeo to remind us that the web isn’t private. In fact it’s so un-private, what is the point of talking about online privacy in the first place? First people get down on one site after another about privacy, when at the end of the day, it’s not private. Never meant to be private. You want privacy? Don’t go online, stay away, and buy land in Montana or something. Oh, and quit blaming Facebook for all your privacy woes.
The more interesting story here is that about ~4 years ago when I had a small conversation with the original Spokeo founder Harrison Tang, Spokeo was just another harmless social network aggregation site. In that short amount of time, Spokeo like any good resilient startup has shifted it’s business model 360 from where it started. I totally applaud the efforts there. But in the same token, I question the validity of the current social aggregation startups out there. Do we really know that they won’t flip the 180 or 360 and change into a privacy aggregation money making machine for their founders? What really are their intentions is what we should be asking.
Now if you followed the above link, you see that Harrison also added a position at People Search back in ’07 timeframe. And now his Spokeo is doing the same thing. What do I smell? Money. In the same token, isn’t CrunchBase doing essentially a similar model of data storage and revelation by what they do?
Now much has already been written about this, but for basics, go here to this article about Spokeo Privacy and how to take your name out of their database. If you don’t have the time to read all that, here is a snippet on how to do this:
The good news is you can get yourself off of there.
- Go to Spokeo and type in your name.
- Copy the URL when it brings up your information.
- Go to the bottom of the page and click on “privacy”
- Paste the URL in the box provided
- Include your email address (it gives you further instructions via email)
- Enter the code
- Go to your email and click on the link they provide to you
- Confirm the directory listing has been deleted
- Go back to Spokeo and put in your name to be sure it was deleted and they can’t find you
Hope this helps!
Technically Speaking, when you are online and you do informational transactions online, you do not have privacy. Privacy is an illusion sold and bought for the price of the banner ads that bother you so much. Privacy is only something that happens offline, but the minute you connect, you can bet it’s no longer private.
- Spokeo may know more about you than you realize (boingboing.net)
- How your visits to sites are tracked (thehindu.com)
- How your visits to sites are tracked? (thehindu.com)
- Spooky Spokeo (bigbrotherwatch.org.uk)
- Caught on Google Streetview (mckeay.net)